Broker Feed Status Redesign


User Research UI & UX Product Design Prototyping Product Management




Redesign the product dashboard to increase usability, actionability, and reduce support case volume

Executive summary


The original report was confusing and difficult to navigate, with misleading information and limited self-service options. This led to high support case volume and user frustration.


  • Improved clarity and accuracy: Reworked statuses to provide more accurate and specific information with targeted action steps.
  • Promoted self-service: Introduced high-level rollups, detailed hovers, and integrated help resources.
  • Decreased support cases: Streamlined workflow and reduced user confusion, resulting in a 42% decrease in support cases within the first quarter of launch

Key improvements

  • Color-coded system: Provides instant clarity on feed health and prioritizes issues.
  • High-level rollups: Offers quick overviews of overall feed health by status.
  • Detailed hovers: Allow deep dives into individual account information, why the account is in that state, and action items to take
  • Integrated help resources: Provide context-sensitive support within the report.


The redesign significantly improved the usability and efficiency of the Broker Feed Status Report, reducing support costs and empowering users to manage their employee trading activity more effectively.


One of the main job functions of the compliance department at a financial firm is to set up policies and procedures that help the company act lawfully. Government and independent agencies set rules to protect investors by making sure securities trading markets operate fairly and honestly. In the United States, the primary two are the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The regulations they set forth help prevent things like insider trading or market manipulation.

To ensure that employees of a financial company are following these rules, compliance officers monitor all trading activity for each employee at the company to make certain that restricted stocks aren't being traded and anyone with material non-public information isn't gaining an unfair advantage by trading on information not available to your average everyday individual investor.

At larger financial firms, this can amount to tens of thousands of trades a month, an enormous number of transactions to monitor manually. To assist with this process COMPLY leverages relationships with hundreds of brokers to have employee trade information sent over and processed automatically.

Firms are legally bound to certify their employees are trading stocks fairly and any manipulation or insider trading can result in heavy fines and reputational damage to the firm.

These "feeds" of information from brokers are the primary method compliance officers can confirm all trades are conducted according to policy and that there isn't any wrongdoing or foul play.

Identifying the problem

Within the product, there is a tool aptly named the "Broker Feed Status Report". Its primary function is to communicate whether or not accounts are receiving holdings and transaction information from brokers. This helps the compliance officer understand if they are effectively monitoring employee accounts or if there is a coverage gap and something must be done to resolve it.

A usability issue was identified with the existing report during several customer advisory board calls. This information was then corroborated internally by Account Executives for key clients. After working with the Customer Success team to discover a high number of support cases coming in about the report we knew we had an opportunity to increase the usability of this particular feature and a business case to do so.


  • Increase the clarity and accuracy of the information presented
  • Promote self service
  • Decrease the number of support cases per month

Understanding the current interface

The original report was divided into two separate tables of accounts. The first was for accounts that were successfully receiving information. They were labeled with the status of "Account on feed." The second table was for accounts not receiving information. These accounts were labeled as "Account not on feed," with several sub-statuses all rolled into one.

  • Eligible to feed, but never fed
  • Eligible to feed, but stopped feeding
  • Feed not supported by Broker
  • Invalid Account Number
  • No Holdings

Asking the user

The first step was better understanding what each of these statuses meant to the user. As part of the initial discovery for the project, I set up 16 user interviews with clients that represented key user groups on the platform, everything from multi-billion dollar firms with compliance teams of over 50 people to mom-and-pop shops with one person doing it all. In these interviews, I asked questions to assess the usability of the current report. What was working? What wasn't working? Where was there confusion? How were they interpreting certain data points? I had each user walk me through the information they needed to be collecting, how they were interpreting the current report, and the actions they took with that information in the context of their overall workflow.

Untangling the data

The next step was to digger deeper with the data engineers who worked daily on ingesting broker feed information and ensuring it was parsed into the appropriate places and to the appropriate clients. The complexity was fascinating. Over time COMPLY has developed a relationship with over 200 brokers in the financial industry, adding more each year. After a client signed the appropriate contracts a three-way agreement was struck where a broker would directly send us Accounts, Holdings, and Transactions information on behalf of the client and we would take that information and transform it into something more usable and meaningful for the client to monitor employee activity.

The challenge came with every single broker handling this just a little bit differently. There was no industry standard, account numbers could come in all sorts of formats, and the files sent were not standardized. But at the end of the day, three distinct data sets were being sent on any number of files. That was our lowest common denominator and became my starting point for making this more approachable for the compliance officer.

Solution design

New statuses to focus on actionability

The next step was untangling this information and attempting to simplify it. Keeping the most important information up front, reducing some of the noise, and ultimately helping to guide the Compliance Officer with how they could take action on this information.

That led me to hypothesize that providing the end user with more information was more effective than making so many assumptions about what was happening. I reworked the statuses as follows:

Account on Feed

Description: The account is receiving data as expected.

Action: No action required, this is the desired state to move all accounts to.

Broker Feed Unavailable

Description: An electronic broker feed is not currently available for the account type or broker.

Action: Since transaction and holding information can not be automatically collected, the compliance officer must make sure that this information is collected manually, usually through paper statements from the account.

Invalid Account Number

Description: The account number is in an incorrect format for the broker.

Action: Correct the account number in ComplySci so the broker can send the information. Front end validation was added to the "Create New Account" form. but this status was kept as accounts can be added via APIs, things slip through the cracks, and to handle legacy data.

Account Not on Feed

Description: The account has been disclosed in ComplySci but no data is being sent from the broker.

Action: Contact the broker to ensure the appropriate information has been sent over and they are working on establishing the feed.

Not Enough Information

Description: The broker does not send account confirmation and the account has no holdings or transactions.

Action: This was the most nuanced state and the most difficult to convey to the user as one of two things can be true. First, the account is set up correctly to receive information but the account is an old account like a 401k. It technically must be monitored because it is an active trading account but simply contains no holdings so the information isn't coming across. Second, the account hasn't been set up yet and needs to be. To combat this in-between status I introduced a new action for the user to manually confirm that the account is set up correctly. We can't do it automatically but if the appropriate folks are contacted at the broker and they say everything is good to go then the account can safely be marked as confirmed. If information is ever received then the account will change status appropriately.

Manually Confirmed on Feed

Description: The account was in undetermined status but has been manually confirmed to be feeding based on other sources.

Action: No action required on the part of the compliance officer as the background work to confirm the account has already been done.

Using color to add additional meaning

The original color scheme offered a simplistic, binary view of data feed health. Orange-yellow for "not on feed" masked crucial nuances. Several account data points could indicate vastly different issues, yet they were lumped together, creating a misleading total count. To address this, I adopted a stoplight metaphor for data feed status. Green signified a healthy, functioning feed, yellow warned of potential issues requiring attention, and red highlighted accounts for immediate action. An additional grey category was introduced to denote more informational statuses where user intervention wasn't necessary. This color-coded system provided instant clarity, enabling users to quickly grasp the overall feed health and prioritize potential problems.

  • Problem: Original colors were misleading and unhelpful.
  • Action: Adopted stoplight metaphor with distinct colors for various sub-statuses.
  • Outcome: Instant clarity and ability to prioritize issues.

High level rollups

Too much information and a flood of account details can drown out the bigger picture. To combat this, I introduced high-level rollups at the top of the screen. These summaries grouped accounts by their respective statuses, presenting a succinct overview of overall feed health. Each status was mapped directly to a specific action. Continuing the color-coded system empowered users to prioritize potential problems and streamline their workflow as the next action to take was more clear.

Improving the table

Navigating the original broker feed status report was a challenging task. Two separate tables for on-feed and not-on-feed accounts forced users to switch back and forth, hindering understanding. Accounts would "jump" from one table to the next if an issue was resolved or an account lost connection, adding further confusion for the user on where to look. Recognizing these inefficiencies, we revamped the design. By merging the data sets into a single, unified view, we eliminated table hopping and facilitated easier exploration. Enhanced filtering capabilities further empowered users, granting them comprehensive access to subsets of information by allowing the user to drill down to accounts that matched specific criteria, such as the same status, or the same broker, to take action on these accounts in bulk.

  • Problem: Difficulty navigating the report due to separate tables and inconsistent placement.
  • Action: Combining data sets and improving filtering.
  • Outcome: Simplified view and easier information access.

Progressive disclosure detailed hovers

With the high-level overviews established and recognizing the need for deeper dives, I implemented detailed hover views accessible for each status on the table. Hovering over a specific status revealed a breakdown of each broker file, including the dates data was received and clear explanations for any account issues. This progressive disclosure approach ensured users could access both high-level summaries and granular details when needed, empowering them to make informed decisions without getting bogged down with details until they were necessary.

User testing and incorporating feedback

To solidify my design vision, I crafted a clickable prototype replicating the proposed Broker Feed Status Report experience. Walking users through this interactive mock-up proved invaluable. Their candid feedback provided crucial insights, highlighting areas for refinement. Based on their suggestions, I meticulously adjusted the language, ensuring every term and label resonated clearly. Additionally, a key theme emerged: users heavily relied on account notes to track conversations and identify account status. Recognizing this critical need, I incorporated account notes directly into the interface, making them readily accessible. This empowered users to stay informed and manage accounts efficiently, further maximizing their workflow effectiveness. This iterative approach, blending user feedback with design expertise, ensured the final interface not only addressed initial challenges but also catered to users' specific needs and preferences.

Bridging design to development

With confidence in the approach after user testing, my prototype functioned as a bridge between design and development. My background as a front-end developer proved invaluable, enabling me to anticipate technical feasibility and communicate design intent effectively. Throughout the development process, I remained actively involved, providing clear specifications and user stories. These stories, meticulously groomed and prioritized for sprint planning, served as the building blocks for the final feature. I actively participated in sprint planning, ensuring alignment with product roadmap objectives and user needs. When data or technical limitations arose, I collaborated closely with developers, finding creative solutions that upheld design integrity while maintaining practicality. This iterative approach led to a final product that faithfully reflected the original vision, delivering a seamless user experience and meeting business objectives.


The revamped Broker Feed Status Report didn't simply deliver enhanced clarity and accuracy. During the redesign process, we uncovered discrepancies in how certain accounts were being represented, leading to improved data integrity and transparency for clients. Internally, explaining account statuses became significantly easier, enhancing communication and trust. Equally impactful were the integrated help guides, empowering users to navigate the report independently and resolve basic issues without needing support.

The truest measure of success, however, lies in user behavior. Within the first quarter of launch, overall support questions and case volume related to broker feed statuses decreased by 42%, freeing up valuable resources for both users and support teams. A post-launch survey revealed glowing feedback: one client said, "I can finally understand what's going on with my accounts and take action quickly." Others praised the increased transparency and user-friendliness. The redesign saved users time when triaging what accounts needed attention and which didn't, and increased their confidence in the overall accuracy and trustworthiness of the report.

Next steps

Through user research and the design process, I gained valuable insights into the challenges compliance officers face managing broker feeds. Building on this understanding, I propose a series of enhancements for the product backlog to elevate the user experience and streamline workflows.

1. Proactive actionable insights:

  • Identify potential red flags and suggest relevant actions based on historical data.
  • Empower compliance officers to detect and address issues before they become significant.

2. Comprehensive timeline histories:

  • Offer detailed, searchable logs of data collection activity for each account to increase transparency and facilitate troubleshooting for both compliance officers and clients.

3. Unified broker management dashboard:

  • Provide a centralized view of all accounts by broker type, including account totals, action items, and key metrics.

4. Streamlined onboarding and off-boarding:

  • Refine the user experience for adding and removing brokers and employee accounts to reduce manual effort and minimize potential errors.

5. Deeper integration with other features:

  • Seamlessly connect broker feed data with paper statement tracking and holdings/transaction information.

The Broker Feed Redesign was a fascinating challenge in translating complex and nuanced information into an accessible, actionable format. I'm excited about the potential for future enhancements and would love to collaborate on solutions to streamline this process further.

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